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U R B A SOFIA

Bucharest town & regional

planning company

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when knowledge gives direc ons


C o n t

Urbasofia is a town and regional planning company based in Bucharest, Romania. Based on its experience in

urban and territorial issues, the company is a laboratory for urban development, policy design and territorial

cohesion focused on developing more integrated, participatory and smart-oriented solutions to pressing

urban problems. Being highly interested in innovation within the cities and regions, Urbasofia has been

involved over time in the development and management of several EU-funded projects, strongly connected

to smart cities, strategic integrated planning, urban regeneration as well as the social impact assessment of

current urban issues and new ICT solutions under development.


1. Cities and metropolitan areas (recent coordinated strategic plans)

Integrated plan for Cluj-Napoca Metropolitan Area

Baia Mare Metropolitan Agenda

e n t s .

Alba Iulia 2030 Strategy

Strategic plan of Kavala

2. Macro-regional cooperation projects

Attractive Danube (Interreg - on territorial attractiveness)

3. Applied research projects

HORIZON2020 - Rock (cultural heritage and urban regeneration)

HORIZON2020 - proGIreg (nature based solutions for urban renewal)

Urbact - Refill (temporary uses) . BoostInno (social innovation)


Cities and metropolitan areas

Integrated plan for Cluj-Napoca Metropolitan Area

The new integrated strategic plan for the Cluj-Napoca metropolitan area represents, firstly, a change of paradigm under the conceptual umbrella

“Problems first!”. We do not start neither from foreign concepts and thinking patterns that are against local level thinking or the financing

opportunities that can orient the vision of local politics towards the development of un-needed projects. On the contrary, we have pursued the

development of a strategic plan that looks beyond the bureaucratic and technical substantiation of the use of grant funds, capable of attracting and

creating opportunities for private investments, through an inclusive and perspective process.

We have approached these challenges with the aid of a dialogue-oriented methodology, already experimented in other European cities – the STATUS

Project methodology. In this approach, the decision is shared between essential stakeholders, in a participative planning process. The local

communities are, first of all, the protagonists of the planning process, co-designing the strategic plan along with the public institutions.

The new strategic plan for the Cluj-Napoca metropolitan area is not a set of documents and a list of projects, but a permanent process which

launches a multi-actor metropolitan dialogue based on the creation of a Metropolitan Task Force for the area, open towards all interested parties and

based in a Metropolitan Centre.

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Cities and metropolitan areas

Baia Mare Metropolitan Agenda

Title: Baia Mare Metropolitan Area Integrated Strategic Agenda 2030

Acronym: BMMA 2030

Beneficiary: Baia Mare Metropolitan Area Association for Intercommunity Development through SEE Project STATUS

The Strategic Territorial Agenda for the Baia Mare Metropolitan Area took into consideration all of the 18 localities, members in the intercommunity

development association (Baia Mare, three towns and 13 communes). This approach aimed to overtake and to settle the multiple pressures resulting

from the changes in the economic system, in the development and planning system, from the distortions and diversified needs in the urban area, as

well as in the adjacent rural area, in order to create a development nucleus in a coherent network at territorial level. Following the STATUS

methodology for a participatory definition of the agenda (three public workshops, the constitution of a Metropolitan Task force), we designed the

following objectives for BMMA:

A. Functional urban area with competitive economic concentrations, innovative and logistic centres, strongly connected to the external markets

B. Smart specialization and consolidating the innovative process in a synergic „4-leaf clover” system, sustained by research and formation

C. Local sustainable development based on partnerships and strong urban-rural connections, by stimulating productive agriculture and eco-tourism

D. Integrated and sustainable public services systems, including transportation

E. Smart governance and the stimulation of active participation at ZMBM level

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Cities and metropolitan areas

Alba Iulia 2030 Strategy

Title: Integrated Strategic Urban Agenda Alba Iulia 2030

Acronym: Alba Iulia 2030

Beneficiary: Alba Iulia Association for Intercommunity Development through STATUS Project

A general strategy for the area has been developed before the STATUS project, the municipality (main associate) and the county capital - Alba Iulia -

lacked a strategic document to guide its development in the years to come. By entering the STATUS project, AIDA aims at developing a tool to

support Alba Iulia (the "other capital" of Romania) in shaping the integrated urban development agenda, in line with the current and current

realities for the 2014-2020 programming period.

The STATUS process is part of a higher concerted action aiming to modernize the city and its surroundings, which began in the last programming

period, when Alba Iulia has managed to attract nearly 150 million euros of structural funds, an amount , for a middle-sized city inhabited by 63500

people, was an important achievement in mitigating the effects of the financial crisis. As partners to develop participatory process local in Alba Iulia,

as well as the agenda of strategy building, we were commissioned to provide the city with a development agenda, STRATEGICS, commonly approved

and undertaken by all stakeholders, and to generate the following range of large scale cross-cutting projects to be implemented during the 2014-

2020 programming period. Our global vision was to: linking, integrating and capitalizing on previous point investments,improvement and

technical correlation, economic and social development through risk mitigation,change governance paradigm and participation by applying an EUwide

co-design methodology developed by STATUS.

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Cities and metropolitan areas

Strategic Plan of Kavala

Title: Integrated Strategic Urban Agenda for Kavala 2030

Acronym: Kavala 2030

Beneficiary: Municipality of Kavala, Greece through SEE Project STATUS

It was the aim of the Agenda to not only provide the city with a strategic development document endorsed by all stakeholders and based on the

above-mentioned key pillars, but to also to generate the next line up of transversal, large scale projects to be implemented in the 2014-2020

programming period, pursuing the use of structural funds as well as the development of partnerships and favorable conditions for private

investment. For the STATUS Agenda to reap the desired benefits in Kavala, initiatives were foreseen which would:

A. Ensure seamless integration of existing and new proposed urban functions (e.g. public open spaces, the Urban Center, existing and proposed

touristic facilities);

B. Provide the instruments, temporal and financial framework for Kavala to achieve its goals and develop its cultural, heritage, touristic and

economic potential;

C. Ensure that development happens concomitant with the protection and valorisation of the ample natural resources within the Municipality

(especially in the Eastern area) and the outstanding cultural heritage at Philippi, for which a UNESCO application has been submitted recently;

D. Provide the mechanism for direct participation of key stakeholder groups, in a process of co-design rather than of consultation or informing, for a

long-term good governance construction in Kavala.

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Macro-regional cooperation

projects

Attractive Danube

Title: Strengthening Capatities to Enhance Territorial Attractiveness of the Danube Region

Acronym: ATTRACTIVE DANUBE

Funding: Interreg Danube Transnational Programme, PA4. Well governed Danube region

Lead Applicant: Geodetic Institute of Slovenia

ATTRACTIVE DANUBE aims at strengthening multi-level and transnational governance and institutional capacities of policy planners involved in

territorial development by establishing a permanent common transnational platform for monitoring territorial attractiveness (TAMP – Territorial

Attractiveness Monitoring Platform). Through good governance, Danube region’s policies can create conditions for maximising the potentials of

territorial assets and capitals for development, thus increasing the attractiveness of territories for its residents, visitors and businesses.

The main project objective is to strengthen multilevel and transnational governance and institutional capacities of policy planners involved in

territorial development of the Danube Region, which will result in more harmonised governance system of the area. This will be achieved by firstly

establishing a permanent common transnational platform for monitoring territorial attractiveness (CO-TAMP), 11 national platforms (TAMP), and

Territorial attractiveness atlas. Secondly, we will implement an intensive capacity building programme for empowering multilevel public authorities

and civil society in 11 countries related to development planning resulting in enhanced skills and knowledge. Finally, the policy integration process,

including transnational workshops, policy recommendations and memorandum of understanding, will capitalise the results and assure the longterm

impact and leverage effect in the society.

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Applied research projects

HORIZON2020 - ROCK (cultural heritage &

urban regeneration)

Title: Regeneration and Optimisation of Cultural heritage in creative and Knowledge cities

Acronym: ROCK

Funding: Horizon 2020 | H2020-SC5-2016-2017

Lead Applicant: Comune di Bologna

ROCK aims to develop an innovative, collaborative and systemic approach to effective regeneration and adaptive reuse strategies in historic city

centres. By implementing a repertoire of successful heritage-led regeneration initiatives, it will test the replicability of a spatial approach and of

successful models addressing the specific needs of historic city centres. ROCK will deliver new ways to access and experience Cultural Heritage [CH]

ensuring environmental sound solutions, city branding, bottom-up participation via living labs, while increasing accessibility and safety in the

involved areas. The added value is the combination of sustainable models, integrated site management plans and associated funding mechanisms

encouraging PPP, based on successful financial schemes and promoting the creation of industry-driven stakeholders’ ecosystems in 7 Role Model

cities (Lyon, Turin, Liverpool, Vilnius, Cluj, Athens, Eindhoven) and 3 Replicator cities (Lisbon, Skopje, Bologna).

Urbasofia is mainly responsible for the Implementation of Role Model Initiatives through the application of ROCK technologies and tools, aiming to

redefine the accessibility to public space facilities, cultural institutions and architectural monuments through location based services while

addressing environmental changes, enhancing the potential for developing new local economies, as well as enabling local governance capacities

and efficiency.

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Applied research projects

HORIZON2020 - proGIreg (nature based

solutions for urban renewal)

ProGIreg uses nature for urban regeneration with and for citizens and stands for ‘productive Green Infrastructure for post-industrial urban

regeneration’: nature for renewal. Dortmund (Germany), Turin (Italy), Zagreb (Croatia) and Ningbo (China) host Living Labs: post-industrial areas of

those cities where innovative new nature-based solutions are co-developed and tested with the communities living there.Local communities of the

Living Labs are central to this project and involved at all stages from design to implementation. Since there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ model, local

knowledge is essential for local adaptation of the nature-based solutions. A key aim is therefore to push-start citizen-ownership, so that impact is

long-term and benefits future generations. ProGIreg’s follower cities Cascais (Portugal), Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Piraeus (Greece) and Zenica (Bosnia-

Herzegovina) will closely follow the co-creation process ongoing in the front-runner cities, share and exchange ideas and plans, and replicate the

nature-based solutions developed by the front-runner cities. Since each city has its own locally specific post-industrial challenges, the follower cities

will be involved in the research and design of the models; this ensures that the solutions can be adapted and tailored to the needs of different cities.

In addition to the cities, a global network of observer cities, NGOs, research institutions, the private sector and individual citizens and activists will

have the opportunity to learn from the project, both in-person at conferences, through visits to the Living Labs, and on open-source platforms. Key

aims are to spread awareness of the potential of nature-based solutions, promote market up-take and to feed the results into EU policies and

strategies, so that nature-based solutions become the norm and not the exception.

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Applied research projects

URBACT - BoostINNO (social innovation)

- Refill (temporary uses)

Urbasofia has been involved in several URBACT projects, which are listed above:

BoostINNO (social innovation) - aims to strengthen city social innovation eco-systems, by developing deeper relations and organising the results of

the exchange of information and knowledge for the sustainable management and development of cities.

Refill (temporary uses) - aims to upscale and diffuse the urban practice of temporary use of vacant buildings and land and intensify the temporary

experiences by investigating the various action beyond temporality. As such, the REFILL network’s objective is to go one step beyond what has been

achieved previously and to contribute to a wider quest for new governance models to support temporary use.

SubUrban (planning for urban places) - aims to search an innovative and collaborative solution to the following challenge: How can we make

existing 20th-century urban tissue attractive and qualitative again? How can we add a different urban layer?’’ By reconverting the 20th-century

neighbourhoods, it will create a more sustainable and attractive environment. The network partners are all united through the pressure on urban

tissue due to rapid growth today or uncontrolled growth in the past that resulted in high densities or mono-functional areas.

LUMASEC (land use management) - deals with strategic land use management, as it is one of the most important topics for competitiveness,

attractiveness and sustainability of European city-regions.

TUTUR (temporary uses and urban regeneration) - has aimed at introducing the method of temporary use in urban regeneration to cities

participating in the network.

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Smart neighbourhood

civic educa on

+

SOCIAL

Orașul

Vechi

I. Consolida ng the system of

social innova on

II. Ac vated community and

local iden ty

III. S mula ng the civic

educa on level and developing

new entrepreneurial skills

partnership facilita on

financial ressources

ac vated community

events & ac vi es

urban accupuncture projects

non-formal educa onal programme

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THANK YOU!

R

URBASOFIA Office:

Iancu de Hunedoara Bd, no. 2, bl. H6

Bucharest, Romania

B

o

when knowledge gives direc ons

Contact us:

office@urbasofia.eu

+40 371 300 956

www.urbasofia.eu

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